• Isa

Meet The Duchess

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Men may come and go, but a relationship with a talented makeup artist is forever.

Their artistry, patience and therapy skills are treasured. You will always remember the makeup artist who made you beautiful on your wedding day. In fact, there is a lot more discussion, courting and references for this person than your actual husband.

As a TV producer, I have worked with the best in the business.

And just when I thought I have met everyone, there is always someone new to collaborate with, to be impressed by, to become friends with.

Two years ago I was working on a small project and was ready to suggest someone in my arsenal of makeup artists. The lead on the project said no, no, no. We have someone we love and gave me her name…..all ten syllables. Natalia López de Quintana

Natalia is a walking piece of art; colorful hair, thousands of tattoos, piercings, eclectic clothes. She immediately draws you in with her warm smile which reveals her beautiful soul. To talk to Natalia, is to discover something new about her, and yourself .

Natalia and I bonded immediately. She is the first person who introduced me to my makeup crush, Pat McGrath. All the saturated colors, eyeliner that lasts all day and that creamy, luxurious lipstick in that puckered lip tube. I love it all.

I want to introduce you to this talented Latina makeup artist, Duchess Natalia. Here, she shares how she became a makeup artist, what celebrity’s makeup is always on point and how to apply glitter, this season’s biggest trend.

Photo Courtesy: Lanee Bird

You always look glorious.

How would you describe your style?

Thank you (blushing)! Over the years my style has changed so much— and I think that each of those phases in my life are still present in what I wear these days. For the most part, my style generally goes with my mood and is a little bit witchy. 

How does being Latina affect your career?

Being Latina is a huge part of my identity— I attribute my fiery nature, bubbly positivity, gregarious character, general loudness and very expressive hands to it. 

You are always in demand to do makeup during Fashion Week.

How is that experience? 

It is an absolutely incredible, sleepless, stressful, exhilarating whirlwind. The stress is because you are executing looks that were created by some of the most skilled artists working today and you only have a finite amount of time to do it and to do it precisely. All of that is overshadowed by the absolute thrill it is to be in the presence of something truly greater than yourself. Some of the productions I have worked have been plastered all over the pages of major fashion magazines; there have been many times I have had to pinch myself having the opportunity to have assisted some of my makeup idols including Val Garland, Kabuki, Sil Bruinsma and Pat McGrath and have learned so much along the way. I am constantly learning and backstage is where I have picked up a lot of my tricks. 

Talking about trickstutorials are all the rage. What are your thoughts on tutorials?

I have mixed feelings about tutorials— while I love that people are taking the power to learn and teach into their own hands, I find that this culture has brought forward a lot of “experts” with little to no actual practical experience doing makeup on people other than themselves. That being said, I get really nerdy with the things I do watch. My favorites are French and American makeup tutorials from the 60s because the makeup is applied more cleverly and nuanced without being contrived. I just really love how glamorous everyone was in that era. Here are a couple of my favs:

What is your favorite makeup brand and why?

I have too many! I’ve found over the years that not one single brand does everything right, so I have a few favorite bits that I can’t live without but all are from different brands. I will say, hands down my favorite skincare brand is  all the oils, creams, balms and mists are hand-mixed by one magical woman and of the most lovely quality. I love Glossier and the new fun, colorful side, Glossier Play. I can’t live without Givenchy Mr. Light and Teint Couture concealers and Pat McGrath Labs eye and lip products are all to die for. 

What Latina’s makeup game is on point?

JLo will forever be my Latina glamour icon— she is always snatched. 

What is your “must have” make up item??

Givenchy Mr. Light is LIFE-CHANGING— it brightens and lightens dark circles under the eye without being too dry. Top with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Under eye powder and VOILA! Bright, fresh eyes!

What is the #1 mistake women make when applying makeup? 

Having any self-doubt and taking yourself too seriously is a huge no-no when it comes to makeup in my humble opinion. The one major thing every person needs when putting on a look is confidence. Nothing is sexier than a person who knows they look good and all of that comes from inside— the things we paint on top for all to see can be spectacular but if the wearer doesn’t feel that they are all that and a bag of chips, no one will believe it.

There are lot of bold trends for Spring...metallic lips, yellow eye shadow and glitter, glitter, glitter. Which is your favorite ?

I will ALWAYS have a deep, deep love for glitter. Sparkle is my favorite color!

Photo Courtesy: Lucy Nystrom

Can you provide guidelines for glitter makeup?

Put the brush down and use your fingers— glitter sticks to the natural oils of the skin so you don’t even need adhesive if you press it onto freshly moisturized skin. Most of all, HAVE FUN, there are no rules!

How did you become a makeup artist? Is this something you went to college to learn?

I’ve always been artistically inclined and have had a love for the transformative power of makeup since I was a small child. I would watch my grandmother apply her red lip and blue eyeshadow, which she wore daily, with utter fascination and would often squirrel away my mom’s makeup to play with, much to her chagrin. 

Florida schools are severely lacking in nurturing young minds to follow a career that is trade-based. I did not go to college for Makeup Artistry but instead studied English Literature and always practiced on the side. When I was in my early twenties I realized I would need to move to NYC to seriously pursue a career in makeup. It’s been 10 years here and I can’t say I have ever wistfully looked back on my former life. When I moved here I worked retail makeup while building a solid reputation for consistent, good freelance artistry on the side and when I felt I had built up enough clientele, I made the leap to freelance full-time.

You are getting married soon. Have you planned your makeup for the big day??  Please send us pics.

I am! The dress, shoes and everything has been a breeze but makeup is up in the air. I am still undecided and I have played a bit with different eyeliners, eyeshadows and lipsticks— all I know is I want to look classic and elegant. 

What is the best beauty advice you received from your Latina Mom?

Mom would always tell me to accentuate the parts of me that I thought looked special that day. It really helped me early on to form an opinion about what I like and who I am, which of course is in a state of constant evolution and change. 

To connect with Natalia, visit her web-site:

Follow her on Instagram/Twitter: @duchessnatalia

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